Meat Picks | 6.13.13

CigarBQue

cigarsThere are still some tickets left for the 2nd annual CigarBQue slated for Friday, June 21st.

CigarBQue raises funds on behalf of the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation who helps impoverished communities where cigars are produced. Created by Executive Chefs (and friends), Rick Gresh,(Primehouse), Giuseppe Tentori, (Boca) and Cleetus Friedman, (Fountainhead), Gresh says they came  up    with the idea to do an event when they couldn’t logofind a good place to “get together to eat, drink and have cigars”. The trio hopes to expand their charitable concept to other cities in the future. See our full interview with Chef Gresh here.

Burger of the Month

PetetheButcherBurgerChicago’s prestigious Saloon Steakhouse honored Buedel Master Butcher, Peter Heflin, this month by creating the Pete the Butcher burger for their monthly promotion. The half pound prime grade burger, which comes topped with caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, horseradish and smoked kielbasa, has patrons smacking their lips in total Saloon-style satiable satisfaction. “I am not worthy to be a part of the exploding Chicago burger movement in such an exquisite setting as Saloon Steakhouse,” Heflin reflected. “Thank you, Chef Boris!”

What is Local?

In preparing for the NRA Show last month, we put together some new cheat sheets for defining and buying “local”. Beyond distance, local is really more about: healthier eating, fresher foods, family farmers, environment, humane animal treatment and sustainable agriculture.BuedelLocalLogoTM

Our team also developed a logo to show local support. Please feel free to share and use!

New Addition

LWoodsChineseTakeOut2L. Woods Tap & Pine Lodge in Lincolnwood came up with a great idea – adding Chinese take out to their carryout business. Offering appetizers, fried rice and standard entrees such as Mongolian Beef and Kung Pao Chicken, L. Woods definitely delivers the best of everyone’s world. You can of course order online too.

Dads’ Day Out

Did you know that Father’s Day is the third biggest dining out hFathersDauoliday after Mother’s Day and Valentines Day? According to the National Restaurant Association, it is estimated that 50 million Americans will take dad out for a meal this Sunday. Going to “Dad’s favorite” is the leading factor in deciding restaurant choice.

Happy Father’s Day!

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From the desk of John Cecala  Twitter@BuedelFineMeats Facebook BuedelFanPage

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Helping Change the Way We Eat at the Good Food Festival & Conference

I was honored to participate at the Good Food Festival & Conference (GFFC) in Chicago late last week. The annual event is organized by Family Farmed.org under the leadership of Jim Slama, the organization’s president and local food movement passionate.

The Family Farmed mission is to expand the production, marketing and distribution of locally grown and responsibly produced food to enhance the social, economic and environmental health of our communities. Having healthy good food produced as close to home as possible by family farmers and producers that use sustainable, humane and fair practices is a core objective.

The GFFC provides a platform to link local farmers and family-owned producers of food and farm products with the public, trade buyers and industry leaders to foster relationships and facilitate growth of local food systems. Unlike traditional food shows, Good Food is geared to connect the often disparate functions of food finance, policy, education and farming.

Good Food Finance

Day One of the GFFC is dedicated to the business side of food production at the Financing Conference. National and regional leaders in farming, food production and finance provide education and help create channels for small farms and local businesses to access capital for financing growth.

One of the educational presentations given this year was by Erin Guyer of Whole Foods Market. Guyer talked about the company’s $8 million social investment program providing low interest loans to small-scale and start-up food producers for expansion. Local businesses also learned about financing options such as Crowd Funding, the Chicago Community Loan Fund and First Farm Credit Services. Many attendees would not normally have the opportunity to learn about such things if not for the conference.

The second part of Day One is spent at the Good Food Financing Fair. Designed in a walk-around format, the fair provides a dynamic environment where farms and food businesses can meet one-on-one with investors, economic development specialists and other experts to develop relationships. Companies may also set up tables to showcase their products for investors to learn more. Contacts are made, and knowledge is shared in one convenient setting.

Good Food Symposium & Policy Summit

Day Two brings together national and local business leaders to share their experiences in taking the Good Food Movement to a higher level.

Major announcements were made last week by foodservice directors from the Chicago Public Schools, McCormick Place and Midway Airport on new commitments to purchase local food and anti-biotic free meat and poultry.

Recognition was also made for Good Food Business Leadership to Bob Scaman from Goodness Greeness for supporting local farmers and organic food. Farmer of the Year awards were given to farmers, Alex Needham and Alison Parker of Radical Rood Farm, and farm mentors, Matt and Peg Sheaffer of Sandhill Family Farms.

The quest to improve access for Chicago residents to culturally appropriate nutritionally sound and affordable food grown through environmentally sustainable ways is led by the Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council.

Food policy focus was made on building urban farms and community food systems to use local food as an economic tool. Keynote speakers discussed methods to engage the community to improve healthy neighborhood food options. Ideally, if a local community can connect to the local Good Food Movement in an organized manner everyone benefits from the symbiotic relationship. The Policy Summit facilitates these connections and provides the tools to leverage them.

Good Food Trade Show

More than 300 local farmers, distributors and artisanal food producers exhibited at the Trade Show on the last two days of the festival. Sponsor support from Organic Valley, Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition  and others, helped promote the Good Food Community and provide a platform for food producers to present their products to trade buyers and other stakeholders.

Buedel Fine Meats partnered with sponsor/exhibitor Red Meat Market, an online/offline social marketplace where meat buyers easily source and order local sustainable meat in one place from multiple local providers. Red Meat showcases all natural, organic and grass-fed beef, pork and lamb products raised in SW Wisconsin and Northern Illinois from over 100 family farms.

We featured live butcher and cooking demos in our booth geared to show people how they can easily butcher and cook local meats for tasty and economical meals at home. Our line-up was extensive: Ben Harrison of Whole Foods Market showed how to breakdown a leg of lamb provided by local Slagel Family Farm, Chef Ryan Hutmacher of the Centered Chef  showed how to make delicious lamb kabob gyros on whole wheat pita, Buedel’s own “Pete the Butcher” (Peter Heflin) demonstrated how to breakdown grass fed beef tenderloin and roll & tie a grass fed beef rib roast provided by Red Meat Market, Chef Alex Lee showed how to cook a simple pan fry with a unique salsa verde and Joe Parajecki, head butcher at  Standard Market and award winning sausage maker, prepared a special St. Patrick’s Day sausage recipe.  (To say that we had a fun, and eventful food experience at our booth would be an understatement.)

Good Food Events & Workshops

The last day of the GFFC is traditionally filled with a plethora of knowledge workshops and events geared to public awareness. This year attendees could choose from adventures such as the, Urban & Vertical Farm Tours, Home Cheese Making and the Kimchi Challenge which pitted Chicago Chefs against one other in the art of fermentation. (Elizabeth David of Green Zebra is now the new champion.) Other local Chefs, such as, Rick Bayless (Xoxo, Frontera Grill, Topolobampo), Carrie Nahabedian (Naha) and Paul Virant (Perennial Virant, Vie) conducted cooking demonstrations pairing local farmers’ products with their own uniquely creative culinary skills.

The Good Food Festival & Conference started in 2004. Each year it grows larger as more of us take the time to understand where our food comes from and interest in supporting local communities.

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From the desk of John Cecala  Twitter @ Buedel Fine Meats Facebook  Buedel Fan Page

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Meat Picks | 10.4.12

What’s Hot Now?

Numerous reports from the Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators (MUFSO) show which ran earlier this week in Dallas are now out. According to Nation’s Restaurant News reporter, Bret Thorn; Chicken – that’s all chicken is in – boneless chicken is hot.

Thorn also reports that corporate chefs say, “their customers were willing to experiment with new flavors like never before”, that the thirst for “candy-flavored vodkas” and “spiced rums” are trending big and that just about anything in the beverage cat flavored with chile or cinnamon is a good thing. Read Bret’s full report here.

 
Oyster Fest Block Party is next week!

The 24th annual Shaw’s Crab House Oyster Fest kicks offs next Monday, October 8th. Special deals and fishy fun like the, “oyster slurping contest”, are scheduled throughout the weeklong celebration which builds up to Shaw’s much anticipated block party on Friday, the 12th 4,000+ attended last year’s event!

Block party doors open at 3 and country singer/songwriter Lee Brice is this year’s headliner. Tickets are affordably priced at $25, (you better get ‘em now) available online. Inquiries by phone at: 312-527-2722.

Little Known Fact

Earlier this week we published an interview with Peter Heflin entitled, What is a Master Butcher?  Peter, who is part of the Buedel customer sales team, is also a master butcher himself – but that’s not the little known fact.

What you probably don’t know is he’s also, “Pete the Butcher”. It’s true, Heflin is a Kevhead.

Peter was part of the Chicago radio scene during the hey days of Loop DJ’s Kevin Matthews and Steve Dahl. His returning on air cut-up role as, Pete the Butcher, was based in fact – Heflin worked at the butcher shop where Dahl and Matthews actually shopped for meat. Who knew?

You can subscribe to Kevin Matthews’ current bi-weekly podcasts (including 30+ years of radio archives) by subscription on the Steve Dahl Network.

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From the desk of John Cecala  Twitter @BuedelFineMeats   Facebook  Buedel Fan Page

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